Ontario preparing new lockdown measures, confirms more U.K. variant cases

Doug Ford

OTTAWA — Ontario is set to invoke new measures today to try to get control over the surging COVID-19 pandemic.

The province is considering further reducing in-person gathering limits, cutting the opening hours for essential stores like groceries and pharmacies and restricting construction and manufacturing to essential business only.

While the province reported the lowest number of new cases in more than a week at 2,903, it is also reporting 41 new deaths and 138 new admissions to hospital.

The province also has new modelling which warns that hospital intensive care units will be overwhelmed by early next month if the current rate of infection continues.

There are nearly 400 people with COVID-19 in intensive care in Ontario, almost twice the number that needed critical care at the beginning of December.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province has also detected eight more cases of the COVID-19 variant from United Kingdom, bringing the total number detected across Canada now to at least 22.